Friday, March 13, 2009
"Bridle," a North Atlantic right whale, desperately needed to be free of the fishing gear entangling him, which included a rope through his mouth that inspired his name. But he wouldn't cooperate, fleeing from rescuers. So scientists tranquilized him - in the wild, in the ocean, using guns firing darts with 30-cm needles to get a half-liter of drugs into him. This highly risky maneuver(for the scientists and the animal) achieved its goal: a whale compliant enough to allow rescue, yet conscious enough not to stop breathing and drown. This blog post by John D. Sutter links to gotta-see-it video of the rescue.